June 27th, 2007
09:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Support for Iraq war reaches new low

U.S soldiers search a house during a patrol in southern Baghdad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new low of 30 percent of Americans say they support the U.S. war in Iraq and, for the first time, most Americans say they don't believe it is morally justified, a poll released Tuesday said.

In the poll, which was carried out Friday through Sunday, 30 percent of respondents said they favor the war in Iraq; 41 percent said they oppose it because they think the 2003 decision to go to war was a mistake; 26 percent said they oppose it because they think it has been mismanaged; and 3 percent said they had no opinion. (Full Poll Results [PDF])

Support is down 4 points from what it was May 4-6, when 34 percent of respondents said they favored the U.S. war in Iraq.

Asked during the latest poll how things are going for the United States in Iraq, more than two-thirds (69 percent) said badly - 4 percent said "very well," 26 percent said "moderately well," 25 percent said "moderately badly" and 44 percent said "very badly."

There appears to be little optimism that things will improve, with 17 percent saying the situation is getting better; 46 percent saying it is getting worse; 35 percent saying it is staying the same; and 1 percent offering no opinion.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled want withdrawal of U.S. troops to begin - either in part or in total. Asked what the United States should do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, just 17 percent said it should send more troops; 16 percent said keep the numbers the same; 24 percent said withdraw some troops; and 39 percent said withdraw all troops.

Asked whether the U.S. action in Iraq is morally justified, 54 percent said no, versus 42 percent who said yes and 4 percent with no opinion. Just two weeks ago, a poll found less than half (47 percent) saying the war was morally unjustified.

Support for President Bush matched his lowest rank ever in a CNN poll, with 32 percent saying they approve the way he is handling his job, and 66 percent saying they disapprove, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

That's a drop of 6 points from the 38 percent of respondents who said on May 4-6 that they approved of Bush's handling of his job, and equal to the 32 percent he got in a poll conducted in April 2006.

Bush's popularity peaked the week after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when 90 percent of respondents said they approved of the job he was doing.

Americans were split on whether to shut the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo, with 46 percent saying it should continue to operate; 45 percent saying it should be closed and the prisoners transferred elsewhere; and 9 percent offering no opinion.

The telephone poll of 1,029 adult Americans has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 points.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Steve, Tyler, TX

    What has taken America so long to wake up? I live in the middle of the 30% who are still blind. And the scriptures say "he shall lead the deaf, blind and the dumb"!Amen – and double on the dumb!

    June 26, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

    June 26, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Darrell Edwards, London, Ontario, Canada

    I am glad to see that the vast majority of U.S. citizens are finally "waking up" to the unfortunate realization that Bush/ Cheney & co. blatantly mis-lead and then poorly executed an unnecessary war in Iraq. This, as a result, has caused irreputable damage to your once proud stature held within the International Community (nice legacy of the dynamic duo to leave behind).

    However, even though many Canadians were upset (we voted our Prime Minister – Jean Chretian out of office immediately) that we did not join our good friends to the south in this battle we are proud to be an integral leading force fighting the real root of terrorism within Afghanistan (unfortunately we lost another 4 brave soldiers this week).

    Hopefully, with a new U.S. administration just around the corner, there will be a fresh, new approach to engaging and building proper international consensus with which to focus and fight the true battle on terrorism.

    June 26, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Wichita, Ks

    Instead of polling the civilians in the US.. I would like to see what the troops think of this war, necessary or not?

    June 26, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. JAF, Los Angeles, CA

    So what this poll is saying is that the American people remain as self centered as they always have since the 60's.

    It is completely and totally immoral to support any policy that will allow the situation in Iraq to deteriorate dramatically further. For those who do not think it can, I remind them of Rawanda. Perhaps a more relevant example is the imoral action of the United States in abandoning Vietnam to an orgy of killing that resulted in 1 to 3 million dead in that country alone and regional consequences that led to the deaths in total of nearly 6 million.

    It is clear that when a power vacuum is created in Iraq that it will be filled with killing unlike anything seen to date there. Those who advocate total withdrawl, and do not address how they will deal with allowing a genocide to happen or a regional war, will have the blood of millions on their hands. Just like the anti-war protestor of vietnam can never face up to the blood on their hands.

    Withdraw some troops. Add more troops. It doesn't matter to me. What I care about is that we do not EVER give up on a people again as we did before. Find a MORAL answer that works.

    June 26, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. David, Chicago, IL

    Insurgent violence has increased because they're having to resort to the spectacular in order to try and win the information war. Expect more of that because that's all the terrorists can do. Does anyone read Michael Yon or JD Johannes?

    Terrorists even have to resort to using 6 year old children to try and do their dirty work.

    The majority of our troops believe in what they're doing. We best support our troops by supporting the mission, and not by allowing the bombings and suicide missions affect us more than the good work our military is doing for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 26, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Ryan, New York, NY

    For all those who complain about liberal bias in the polls, please note that people who own cell phones might as well not exist in these polls' eyes. This means that 12.8% of the population, including a lot of young people, college students, and those who relocate frequently (usually city dwellers), aren't getting polled. These groups of people aren't typically conservatives, so if anything, one would expect the numbers to be a point or two lower.

    June 26, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Ryan, New York, NY

    Regarding my cell phone comment, the 12.8% is the percentage of people who ONLY own a cell phone and don't have a landline where they can be polled.

    Sorry if that created any confusion.

    June 26, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. LooseyGoosey

    CNN is corrupt and so is its polling. Its not secret. The communist news network is little more than a post a note for liberal trash. No wonder Fox has dominated them in the news rankings for the last decade. But I have enjoyed watching them make excuses for their failures..

    June 26, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Kevin, Austin, TX

    The polls are valid, within the stated percentage points. Please educate yourself as to how sampling works. It is no accident that exactly 1,029 people were polled.

    During the Cold War, some of us were ridiculed for questioning why our nation was supporting Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now we question why we are fighting in Iraq instead of going after the terrorists responsible for 9-11.

    We are all Americans and we all want our nation to be safe and our troops' sacrifice to be worthwhile. Neither is true at the moment.

    June 26, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. MD, Chicago IL

    Once again Americans forget to "think"
    Many of you voted Bush and Cheney back in without listening to one word they were saying. Those of you who support this war have no evidence or justification to back any of your opinions. The only thing you back is what Bush and Cheney think, while not using your own heads. We have lost International respect and diplomacy because our country has ALLOWED its leaders to be aggressive tyrants on a country that NEVER attacked us in the first place.

    June 26, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Julia, Denver, CO

    For Rick Morrow:

    My father is a Vietnam vet, a former paratrooper who still gets together with the strong brave men he served with. My father served his country with honor and bravery, and I respect him immensely for it – how could I not?

    But there IS a difference between supporting our troops and supporting a war and president who endangers these courageous soldiers while forwarding his own political goals.

    I would follow my father to the ends of the earth, but I will not follow this president nor this administration into those dark depths.

    June 26, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. SNS, Anderson, IN

    All I read from those who still support this war and don't accept the validity of the survey is the same tired rhetoric: "Without our troops, we have no freedom." "They hate us for our freedoms." What does that even mean anymore?

    The fact is support of the war is at an all-time low. Sadly, it is still the will of the 30% minority that is being followed.

    June 26, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. doc75, fairfax, va

    Let's ask this question: would invading Darfur in the middle of an Islamic civil war be morally justified?

    June 26, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Omega Concern Portland OR

    I think people around the world understood Afghanistan. But then Forest W. Gump fabricated the reasons to go to war and then lied about it to the public to go commit an act of war in the middle east and didn't plan for anything past the overthrow. Five years later-can't imagine why people no longer think this is a good idea. Good thing he's a Christian...

    June 26, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Fabio Escobar, Amherst NY

    Fortunately, decisions about whether to go to war are not made by the mob. The President has so far ignored these partisan and spurious shifts in opinion among the masses, as he should. It is his job to do that which he believes to be right, not merely follow the latest poll numbers (particularly given the lack of integrity in the current polling system, which has obviously been hijacked by partisan hacks hoping to score points in the latest media cycle).

    June 26, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Robin, SF, CA

    For anyone who thinks CNN's poll is inaccurate, here's a non-scientific breakdown of this thread - something even the "30% crowd" can understand.

    I see 20 distinctly different people in this thread as of 5:28 pm. In that group, 15 of 20 (75%) do not appear to support the war; 4 of 20 (20%) do; with 1 (5%) not counting as he's Canadian (no offense, Darrell). Again, this is not the scientific polling CNN does, but this still looks like a fairly representative sample to me.

    As for "liberal states," quit being bobbleheads and get a grip on reality. People "against" in this thread come from TN(2), OH(2), IL, TX(3), FL, WI, and CA(3) - 4 of 8 (50%) appear to be "red" state respondents. The other side is pretty typical, however: AZ, VA, SC, and NY - 3 of 4 (75%) "for" respondents coming from traditional "red" states.

    I know numbers can be confusing, but they are tools the rest of us use everyday.

    June 26, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Lawrence Santa Clarita, California

    I am sick of hearing from all these blindly patriotic idiots that continue to believe that this war was/is justified. On what grounds? The WMD that we sold Saddam in the 1980's? Our government should have kept the sales receipts, then we would know exactly how much Saddam had left. Iraq a state of Islamic terrorists? I don't think so. Saddam wanted complete and total control of his people and would never tolerate, let alone share power with any other entity, especially one of a religous nature. Saddam and Iraq were secular. Thanks to "Dubya", Iraq has plunged into an abyss of death and destruction.

    As far as our soldiers believing in this war, they have no choice. I am in the health care field and I have spoken to many soldiers that say that they don't understand and fully accept the reasons that they went there in the first place. They also don't want to go back. Unfortunately, they don't have a say. God bless and protect them.

    To all the lemmings(read Bush groupies) out there that try to paint liberals in a bad light, I hope you are doing more for the troops than just paying lip service about being supportive and all. Why don't you guys find families and give them money to make ends meet or how about helping out the wounded soldies by helping with medical bills. God knows this administration is not helping the returning soldiers get the treatments that they need. Walter Reed anyone?

    June 26, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Jayson, Yuba City, CA

    Getting rid of a dictator was plenty of morale justification to take out Saddam. Especially considering we are in large part responsible for him staying in power for as long as he did.

    However after it was done US forces should have been moved out into the western and less inhabited portion of Iraq and the Iraqis should have formed their own government without outside interference. Removing Saddam was the right thing, however we should only be there for support, not to run the show. They have the right to choose their own form of government free of pressure by the US, the UN, Iran, or any other government. They also have as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit as any other person born on this planet.

    June 26, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. LCPL Marsh, USMC, North Carolina

    Mr Edwards, we appreciate your support in Afghanistan, but do you really think the root of terrorism is in Afghanistan? Afghanistan was just the training ground for al-qaeda, a terrorist organization that recruits from all across the entire arab and muslim world. We are dealing with a regional problem, and until a regional solution is found that addresses the political, economic, and social problems that drive young muslims to suicide missoins killing civilians and soldiers alike up we will never see peace. Afghanistan is part of the solution, but so is Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. Its important that we see the whole picture and not get tunnel vision.

    June 26, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Matthew

    Well, now we know the percentage of Americans that enjoy living in a perpetual delusion.

    The answer is about 30%. As long as Bush continues to talk tough about gays and abortion, 30% of the people in this country will follow him off whatever cliff he chooses.

    June 26, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    I have to say again, I can easily google and post numerous direct quotes from many liberals long before and after Bush took office that said the same stuff based on the same info that he had including BOTH Clintons, Kennedy, Kerry etc etc.

    Just because it is repeated that Bush lied, doesn't make it true.

    Now, has the knucklehead mismanaged the war, yep (refreshing to see someone from a same party hammer one of their own unlike the democratic robots).

    But I don't care what any of you or anyone that was polled think about the war (I respect your right to opine though), I care about what the men and women say who are serving and overwhelmingly they support the cause and the effort.

    Funny how the pollsters and the media don't report that FACT enough.

    I served for 6 years and in Beirut and I know how important the bond, belief and sacrifice is.

    Godspeed to our troops and I only ask for their safe, quick return.

    June 26, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. Scurvybro, Sacramento, Calif.

    To Kathryn, David, Rick Morrow and other denizens of the 30 percent:

    William F. Buckley, George Will and Patrick Buchanan long ago wrote off this war as unwinnable. Last time I checked, they aren't liberals, so that kind of undermines your pathetic, desperate bleating that the poll results reflect a distorted sample. If you're looking for distortion, look in the mirror. Or the White House.

    And, if you can idle your random cliche generator for a moment, here are some strictly practical reasons why the United States cannot win this war:

    1) We left hundreds of thousands of TONS of munitions and other weapons unsecured after our neat-o invasion. Those items were quickly looted and will provide suicide bombers with enough material to ply their trade for oh, say, the next few centuries.

    2) Very soon after our invasion, merchants in the marketplaces and bazaars were selling official uniforms of the Iraqi military and police.

    And we're going to win how?

    June 26, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Jennifer, Little Rock AR

    I supported Bush until I saw that the war was being mismanaged and he lied about Iraq having WMD's. The surge is not working. My spouse even says we will not win and he is an officer who has been there and now is going back. Our child is 3 wks old – can someone tell me why his father is being sacrificed? More people have died there than on 911, what have we gained? Pull them out, use the money to secure our borders and we won't have to fight them here anymore. Bush seems to forget they are already here fighting us due to his indifference to our border security.

    June 26, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Nadir Ahmed

    The war has provided Al Qaeda training and logistics that they could only dream of – before, they were swinging jungle gyms in Afganistan, and now they are learning to build sophisticated IEDs capable of penetrating American armor and learning how to counter American military tactics. And finally, let us not forget about the "glorious" insurgent videos of attacks against U.S. forces which are all over the internet.

    Nadir Ahmed

    June 26, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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